1970 Pontiac GTO 455 HO 4-Speed Project

This 1970 Pontiac GTO is located in Southern California in the town of Lebec. The car needs a complete restoration but was originally equipped with a 455 cubic inch V8 engine and 4 speed manual transmission. The GTO is listed here on Craigslist for $11,500 which includes a built 455 cubic inch V8 engine that is not installed. We appreciate Rex M for bringing this car to our attention.

The Pontiac 455 cubic inch V8 engine pictured above is said to be a non-matching numbers motor but there is not a lot of information about the engine other than it has been rebuilt. It obviously has an aftermarket Edelbrock high rise aluminum manifold, chrome valve covers and headers. I am currently rebuilding a 455 cubic inch V8 engine for my 1973 Pontiac Trans Am and it is not to difficult to get massive amounts of torque and horsepower from this Pontiac designed engine.

This car was originally Cardinal Red with a black interior. The trunk and floors are rusted and will need to be replaced or repaired. There is a big hole cut into the center hole of the floor board. I don’t know if this is from where an automatic transmission was installed at one time or just from rust repair work. The seller states that he has the patch panel to repair this section of the floor board. A 4 speed transmission and shifter also come with the car but there is no mention if this is a Muncie, Saginaw or Borg Warner unit.

This is the first year that the 455 cubic inch V8 engine was available in the GTO. The base engine for 1970 was the Ram Air III 400 cubic inch V8 and the two optional engines were the Ram Air IV 400 cubic inch V8 and the 455 HO cubic inch V8 engine. This was a D-Port engine and different from the later 1971-72 HO 455 engines. The car is rolling on Pontiac factory Rally II rims. I agree with the seller’s ad that this is a great opportunity to restore a truly unique GTO.


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  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Didn’t know Pontiac made a Harlequin GTO. This looks like a lot of mix and match pieces. Good luck.

    Like 2
  2. rextreme Member

    Has others available – see picture 23 in the CL ad.

  3. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I’m always wary of these “unfinished projects” being sold by professional shops that have the skill to finish them…because the first question I have is “why…what aren’t you saying”

    Like 2
    • A.G.

      Generally when a shop offers an unfinished project for sale it’s because the of previous owner’s financial situation. We all should know the cost of a restoration can exceed the car’s restored value. This is why there aren’t many restoration shops which restore and then sell the restored vehicle. This excludes ‘restorations’ such as from DVAP.

      If this GTO is an unfinished project it barely got started. It could be just a bunch of parts bolted together.

      Like 4
    • Steve R

      Shops often get leeds on cars, from people looking to sell a car they don’t want to advertise. It would be foolish not to purchase them when they make financial sense. The best cars sell by word of mouth to customers, cars like this get advertised and sold to the public. Iits always been this way.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  4. Nick P

    Base engine in 1970 was not Ram Air III. It was the base 400 with 350 HP

    Like 6
  5. Carlos Guzman

    This definitely a Frankenstein car. But it’s a blank slate. You can restore it or make it a restomod.. but you definitely need cash to buy and finish. I’d like to find one complete that I can restore. Or one barely running.

  6. Carlos Guzman

    This definitely a Frankenstein car. But it’s a blank slate. You can restore it or make it a restomod.. but you definitely need cash to buy and finish. I’d like to find one complete that I can restore. Or one barely running.

    This car is in Canada?

  7. Troy s

    May have been red at one time but it looks to have obtained borrowed parts now.
    Ram Air IV 400 was the top, or highest rated, engine in the GTO for 1970, not the low revving 455, the engine in the picture looks to be built. Or it better be with that intake manifold. If it weren’t for the high collectabillity of such cars it would make a mean street machine or bracket racer. The potential is there.

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